Is There An Undrafted Cornerback Gem?

May 5th, 2017

Mountaineer arrives

Rookie minicamp kicks off this afternoon at One Buc Palace, and Joe’s been sniffing the cornerbacks in the mix.


Because the Bucs are thin at cornerback.

Current nickel corners Javien Elliot and Hey Jude Adjei-Barimah, both undrafted themselves, are nothing more than ok. Veteran Josh Robinson couldn’t earn time ahead of unemployed Alterraun Verner last year. And that’s all the Bucs really have after Vernon Hargreaves and Brent Grimes.

Yes, there are high hopes for Ryan Smith, the second-year man who was pegged as a safety last year. But Joe has slim hope there. Smith was poorly evaluated by the Bucs twice — as a safety and as a kick returner.

Enter rookies undrafted corners Maurice Fleming and Jonathan Moxey. They debut on the practice fields today.

Joe really searched for a way to get excited about one or both of these guys. But there’s not too much there on paper.

Moxey, 5-10, was a three-year starter for Boise State and he also played as a freshman. He’s got three career interceptions and none last year. Not exactly a ballhawk. But he’s got a lot of experience. He’s also known for being a vocal, leadership type who likes to trash talk.

Fleming is 5-11, and he played his senior season at West Virginia after transferring from Iowa as a senior graduate. He ran a 4.52-second, 40-yard dash at his Pro Day. So he’s got wheels at the position (still one tenth of a second slower than Elliott), but Joe’s not finding much special after that. Fleming played a little receiver at Iowa and battled for time at defensive back.

Of course, that’s what happens with undrafted free agents.

49 Responses to “Is There An Undrafted Cornerback Gem?”

  1. Ben the Ga Buc Says:

    Yeesh. Hopefully there’s something available in FA before or after training camp starts.

  2. DevilDogBuc Says:

    We need another de that can actually get to the qb consistently games are won and lost in the trenches

  3. Blade Runner Says:

    Bring back Revis!!! Kidding but not really if they can’t find more depth in free agency or after the June 1st cuts!

  4. DevilDogBuc Says:

    Once we find him we’ll be unstoppable

  5. DC Bucs Fan Says:

    Not too worried right now. This defense is built on pressure and no CB can hold their ground if there is no pressure up front. Given the players that we have through FA and draft in the trenches, we should be find at corner. I am more concerned about our ability in the middle of the field and hopefully, Evans can solve that.

  6. Destinjohnny Says:

    I thought we should have taken the Db from Colorado at the 2.
    The Cowboys were pumped to get him
    Jason misses obvious big picture things sometimes.

  7. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    Bucs going to be running that 4-2-5 that TCU runs or 3-3-5 that WVU and many other schools have morphed into, and it is to combat the passing spread attacks, Justin Evan si going to man the FS role, keep tandy down in the robber spot, then the 2 corners, you got LVD and kwon, then the intechangeable DL and ends or edge rushers, smittty i sno lovie he will not sit in the base 4-3 or at least have the 4 big DL then 3 slow backers, ….pete carroll and dan quinn and will muschamp have the way the bucs are going defensively

  8. morgan1672 Says:

    Iowa CB Greg Maybin. I watched two games on him last night. He cover Chris Godwin 75% of the time in the Iowa/Penn State game. He held his own against Godwin. He seemed like a very physical corner.

  9. Buc4Lyfe79 Says:

    You keep stating the Bucs did a poor job at evaluating Ryan Smith as a safety. The Bucs drafted him as a defensive back. Corners and safeties both count as defensive backs. Last year we had more depth at corner than safety, The Bucs drafted Smith as a defensive back, and out of need based on depth in house, decided to try him at safety. How is that a poor evaluating job to see what the kid could handle because you had the need at a position that did not take him out of the class of still being a defensive back? Being anal in your evaluation of the Bucs experimentation out of need much here Joe? Sure seems like you’re running with dogging a young player who hasn’t even had a fair shot at playing the position he played in college, along with unfairly ragging on the Bucs for trying out a player at a position of need at the time, when because you already had the established depth at corner in house, you could afford to try him at safety to see what he could do, while not having him have to come in and play corner from the get go. Get over it.

  10. Buc4Lyfe79 Says:

    The Cowboys were “pumped” to get Morris Claiborne as well…Nuff said.
    Looks like you missed the obvious big picture too on this one.

  11. Buccfaninhawkeyecountry Says:

    Morgan. I hope I am wrong but as far as I’ve seen Maybin is not the answer lol. Granted he got targeted a lot because of Desmond King but he got beat a lot. I thought he was gonna be good, liked him 2 years ago, but yeah not so much last year. I had some chuckles with people when I told them we picked him up. Still shoulda picked up king. But what do I know. I’m just some f’king guy

  12. buc15 Says:

    I am excited to see both develop, especially Elliot.

  13. Destinjohnny Says:

    Buc4lice good point. It’s easy to draft the best o line in football. It’s also a snap to get a franchise qb with a 4th round pick as so many teams have done it. Let’s name them………wait there aren’t any.
    Go watch the individual game film of both then let’s talk

  14. 813bucboi Says:

    wouldn’t mind adding depth to our ST…..GO BUCS!!!

  15. Kobe Faker Says:

    I hope Ryan Smith doesnt lose the easy ball girl gig

    just like the ball girl in baseball accidentally makes a mistake by catching a fair ball…

    our Ryan, instead of catching the ball and kneeling down, accidentally runs with it

    atleast he isnt bonehead Huff and grabs the ball and runs the base paths to home plate

  16. SOEbuc Says:

    Nothing was “stupid” about it —Joe
    …. The small school Ryan Smith put in as a safety his rookie year was not the best game plan but he’s gonna be put back at his natural position and ball out this year. Not likely to be the return man though.

  17. SOEbuc Says:

    buc15 I agree. I think Elliot could make some nice strides this year.

  18. SOEbuc Says:

    @Joe Haha okay, whatever makes you sleep better.

  19. mrcajones Says:

    What buc4lyfe79 said…..

  20. Brandon Says:

    Didn’t we also sign big CB Greg Mabin from Iowa? He’s 6’1 200 lbs.

    There’s an OT from Eastern Michigan that might have a chance to make the team due to his athleticism. Cole Gardner started off there as a TE.

    A couple other guys to watch are the UDFA LBs…. Richie Brown is decent… Magliore, Bullough’s older brother is Max Bullough who is playing in the NFL (and just got popped for PED’s).

  21. Eric Says:

    Brees is shaking in his boots.

  22. Defense Rules Says:

    Agree Joe that the Bucs are thin at CB, but thin more in terms of quality than quantity. Brent Grimes & VHIII are obvious starters, with Jude & Ryan Smith most likely vying for the Nickel position. Josh Robinson is a solid backup I think. Still not sure what folks see in Elliott though … good height (5’11”) but 176 lbs just seems awfully light when it comes to tackling TEs & bigger RBs like Fournette. Of course Keith Tandy does give us some flexibility; he’s played quite a bit of CB before. Problem is depth at LC, CB & safety: I think there’s a significant drop-off in experience & skills between our starters & backups.

  23. FartinMartin Says:

    Good Article.

  24. JimmyJack Says:

    Verneer was nothing spectacular last year but he was servicable. He was a guy that had the experience. I don’t think they were ready to trust our young backups over the experienced Verneer as they wear trying to get this team to a winning record.

    In general our DBs looked the most lost last year trying to learn the new defense. If guys that are experienced can loo lost on the field at times what do you think an inexperienced player will do? I have to think the young guys they brought back showed something for the Bucs to think they will do well with a full year invested. That’s why they didn’t mark any FA moves……..If these guys stink it up in training camp they will be replaced.

  25. MarineBucsFan Says:

    I currently see CB as the top need for next years offseason. We are due for a defense focused draft…. CB, DT, and DE.

  26. Capt.Tim Says:

    If the Bucs play a 3-4, your DEs are McCoy and Baker.
    That would take pressure off our bad D-line, and let David, Alexander, and Noah spence pressure the QBs
    That might scare Breez a bit.

    Our 4-3 line wont scare anybody

    As far as CBs, gonna have to hope sonebody cuts a decent player, after training camp.
    We do have some young guys with potential, but cornerback is a real weak spot.
    So is DE.
    And both are tough to find .

    Hopefully, Jameis can score 40 points a game.

  27. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    I thought Hey Jude Adjei-Barimah did pretty good last year. All things considered.

  28. LakeLandBuc Says:

    Greg Mabin is the best UDFA CB we have. He should make this team, he’s 6’1 200 LBs and he has 4.5 speed. Also he’s a 3 year starter at CB in the Big-10, he played a lot of man defense, and he played well. If not for his season-ending foot injury, he probably would have been a 4-5 Round pick. And there’s still young, proven veterans like Jason McCourty out there.

  29. Stpetebucsfan Says:

    Get out the tenderizer I sense camp meat!

  30. LakeLandBuc Says:

    On another note..ex Gator WR Riley Cooper will be at the Bucs mini-camp for a tryout.

  31. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    They won’t be playing 3-4 that much. Everyone is assuming they will, but don’t be fooled.

  32. Pickgrin Says:

    Next year CB will be among the top 3 draft picks most likely. In the meantime – the coaches want to see how well Ryan Smith, Hey Jude and Elliot develop this year.

  33. Pickgrin Says:

    Really Joe? Moderation? Please tell me what specifically in that short post could have possibly triggered a moderation filter. Pretty ridiculous dudes….

  34. LakeLandBuc Says:

    Desmond King was a better CB than Greg Mabin at Iowa, but Mabin has the tools to play CB in the NFL. He will probably play FS for the Chargers, he’s 5’10 205 LBs with 4.6 speed..Mabin is 6’1 200 LBS with 4.5 speed. Desmond King was sure 2-3 Round pick, but he wasn’t drafted until the 5th Round…………Here is a scouting report on Greg Mabin………………………………………………It would not be inaccurate to describe Greg Mabin as “the other guy” in the Hawkeyes secondary this past year. Mabin took a backseat to some of the top talent in the Iowa defense, but offers a lot to like in his own right.

    Greg Mabin is a big corner who plays with a lot of physicality. Sticky in coverage and shows the ability to track the ball through the air. Holds his own in man coverage, especially in press situations. Willing tackler against the run and shows some good play recognition.

    The primary negative on Greg Mabin is an injury history that limited his time on the field. Doesn’t have the ideal speed or quickness that scouts look for. While he tracks the ball well, doesn’t do enough to bring in the interception. Struggles to recover if beaten early in the route.

    Greg Mabin is a guy who is going under the radar for most draft analysts. However, don’t be surprised if he ends up being a quality undrafted free agent for somebody. The tools are there, and I think he would fit in well in the Chiefs defense. If you’re talking about a seventh round pick, there is no reason not to do it.

    Don’t be shocked if in 4-5 years Greg Mabin is a better NFL CB than Desmond King. If King even plays CB…

  35. bucs_365 Says:

    Joe continues to doubt Ryan Smith. To say he was mis-evaluated is a stretch. You’re kidding yourself. He was drafted to play safety and they abandoned that plan after watching him learn the role. They thought he would be good at kick returner, and he was bad. Joe’s just being honest. –Joe He was a small school prospect with the size and speed to excel as a CB. He had experience as a safety in college also, and the Bucs needed some help at safety last year, so they put him there. To say he “failed” there, as Joe likes to think, might be jumping to conclusions that aren’t really indicated by the facts. He is a natural corner, and that’s his best fit. Reading other (less negative) publications, you get that the coaches are very excited about him as an eventual starting CB. Joe peddles in reality. Sure they think he can play corner because he had some good midseason practices, but they didn’t see that a year ago. Keeping it real here.–Joe

  36. LakeLandBuc Says:

    Greg Mabin has all of the NFL tools to be a good NFL CB. It will takes some good coaching from John Hoke and Brett Maxie for him to reach that level. But the potential is there.

  37. Buc4Lyfe79 Says:

    Just to be clear DJ, meant no disrespect with my closing line to you, was just reiterating your closing line to the Joes. Tend to forget that keyboard comments are black and white and don’t come w/ the personable jest that I would deliver them w/ in person. Do plan on watching that tape though. Regardless,
    GO BUCS!!!

  38. Lou. Says:

    Is there any chance that Maybin could be switched to safety?

    There has been a trend in recent years to take physical, slower corners and try them at safety. 4,5 doesn’t seem slow until you think of the receivers that they need to cover. And as the Ryan Smith switch (and our own lying eyes) showed us, the Bucs still need upgrades at safety.

  39. Dooshlarue Says:

    Maybe the reason why we’re thin at CB is because Joe is inappropriately sniffing them.
    Does you’re significant other know about your propensity for sniffing the “talent” Joe?

  40. LakeLandBuc Says:

    I had an error. Greg Mabin probably would have been a 6-7 Round pick if not for his injury, not a 4-5 Round pick. Maurice Flemings played 3 seasons at Iowa with Greg Mabin and Desmond king before transferring to West Virginia last season. He could be a sleeper, I still think we should sign a young, proven veteran like Jason McCourty.

  41. Dave Says:

    With safeties playing the nickel or dime so much in today’s NFL they kind of drafted the next CB.
    I see Evans starting and playing dime when needed.
    They will probably have 5 DBs and 2 LBs on the field more than 4 and 3. Hey Jude is probably the 5th guy on.

    They do need to sign another though and definitely draft CB in the top couple rounds next year.

  42. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Hmmm – time to trade for Richard Sherman.
    A 2018 2nd + 2019 3rd & 5th – might do the trick.

    Richard Sherman | Ryan Smith
    Brent Grimes | Josh Robinson
    Vernon Hargraves | Jude Adjei-Barimah

    Now that would give the NFC South fits.

  43. Dooshlarue Says:

    I don’t think we’re that thin and I don’t think Sherman is that great anymore either, although his mouth still seems fine.
    That’s too steep of a price with draft picks.
    We’re building something here and I don’t think he fits the plan.

  44. grafikdetail Says:

    saying the bucs poorly evaluated someone after 1 year is not a fair assessment… hell it took john lynch a couple of seasons before he figured it out & he’s a stanford guy

  45. Duke Says:


    Interesting point on the 3-3-5 and 4-2-5 schemes. You know Mike Smith? Just curious about how you know what the Defense will be this year. Nice scoop!

  46. Duke Says:


    Calling out Joe then saying Sherman isn’t that great anymore!!! And then the M.O.A.B. we’re not thin a C.B. Wow!!

    How in the blue h@ll do arrive at those two vastly different opinions? First, Sherman isn’t coming to the Bucs. No one has ever reported that the idea was ever discussed. So saying He’s not a good fit is as insightful as stating “When the Sun is shining it’s not dark” true enough Mr Wizard. But that’s apparently only news to you. Second, nah just the one is enough.

  47. dooshlarue Says:


    Man you really sniffed that one out.
    The first one was a joke because I think saying you’re sniffing a guy is just a little on the silly side and the second was in response to giving up draft picks for a player on the decline. I said we weren’t that thin, didn’t say we didn’t need more depth.

    Now I just have to decide on changing my screen name to either Mr. Wizard or dooshlaTrue…….both excellent names sir.

  48. firethecannons Says:

    where’s Loaf Jennings? and Lovie’s bro Mike Jenkins?
    least our dudes are better than those two!

  49. bucNation Says:

    i have a feeling we may run a lot of 3-3-5 defense on 3rd down with gerald mccoy ayers and either jac smith if healthy or baker on the line with noah spence being a pass rushing or qb spy at the 3rd linebacker spot idk who might start in our secondary but has anyone thrown out the idea of tangy being our slot corner with evans and wilcox as our safties?? he was a corner when he got drafted here